On The Up

LawyerFair: Aiming to become the Airbnb of commercial legal services

Rebecca Smith | 14 August 2015 | 9 years ago

Andrew Weaver,  LawyerFair's CEO
Andrew Weaver, LawyerFair’s CEO
Andrew Weaver established LawyerFair in a bid to improve the typical relationships between lawyers and businesses. The service matches the legal needs of businesses with commercial lawyers, who then compete for the work. He spoke to Business Advice about establishing the comparison site in a niche sector, transforming thelegal procurement process and his ultimate goal of developing into the Airbnbof commercial legal services.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business?

LawyerFair is a legal comparison service for growing businesses. We help customers find the right lawyer at the best price through our free service which matches the legal needs of businesses with a pre-approved panel ofcommerciallawyers. We launched the business to helptransform the legal market and empower businesses in their legal choices and processes.

(2) How long have you been around for?

We started at the end of 2013, received seed funding in early 2015 and are scaling aswe speak.

(3) How do you make money?

Our service is provided free of charge, we get paid as/if a customerdecides to use one of our lawyers.

(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?

Most comparison models are about big volume, low price. Anyone and everyone can compete for the work, which doesnt really work for commercial law and a procurement process based on relationships, trust and much more than just price.

Finding the right lawyers for business owners requires more subtlety and is often quite a nuanced process. We therefore offer a morebespoke’service that helps our customers find the right lawyers and then our competitive tendering process helps them achieve the best price.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started?

Personal frustration at the traditionalrelationshipbetween business and lawyers and a confidence that other business owners felt the same. We also felt that existing legalcomparisonandfinda lawyer sites were not delivering much value in commercial work. To get the business off the ground we committed to initial marketresearch to confirm our instinct and a proof of concept site that helped us shape our model.

(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?

An ever increasing number of early adopters and happy customers. Finding your feet as a brand new business, in an early stage and niche sector, is challenging so when a growing number ofcustomers and other stakeholders tell us were doing a great job. We know it’s worthwhile and were delivering value.

(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?

Were still very early stage in the real world so it’s often a case of two steps forward, one and a half’steps back. One week were about to rule the world next week the phone goes cold. Weve had no big setback but there’s often a realitycheck that everything takes longer than you forecast (and want).

(8) In five years? time, I will be?

We hope to be established as the de facto online marketplace for the buying, selling and data resource incommerciallegal’services. Can we aim to become the Airbnbof commercial legal services? Why not!

(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out?

Half your forecasts, double your timeline.

(10) Who are your business heroes and why?

I admire everyone in business who is having a go at making their business work and doing so with integrity. Innocent Drinks’ Richardreed andyO! Sushi’s Simon Woodroffe spring to mind, but also less high-profile entrepreneurs whoiencounter and who are willing to give advice and guidance without return and/or having to sell a book.

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